Try to cozy up to a bird in the backyard and you're in for some lonely times. But some birds give as good as they get when it comes to affection and love. Lavish certain types of birds with attention and you could have a cuddly companion for many years.
Cockatoos, with their fancy mohawk hairdos, are generally considered the most affectionate pet birds. Cockatoos are funny, impish and sociable, but they're prone to stress, phobias and other emotional problems if they don't get enough attention. Newborn cockatoos stay with their parents for nearly a year and need companionship and care throughout their lives. But they're so affectionate, they're often called "Velcro birds" because of how often they like to sit on their owners.
Like the cockatoo, the cockatiel is an extremely affectionate companion that requires a lot of TLC. Cockatiels are popular pets because they're cuddly, but also because they're less expensive and smaller -- thus, more manageable -- than cockatoos. If they are adopted when young, cockatiels "imprint," meaning they identify their owners as their parents. This creates a powerful bond, particularly when combined with hand-feeding. A healthy hand-fed cockatiel will be tame and affectionate.
Conures are a broad group of smaller parrots that include parakeets. Conures come in a veritable rainbow of colors, from soft turquoise to deep red. This feature, coupled with their small size, makes conures popular family pets. They can easily be trained to do tricks and love to untie knots with their beaks. Conures can be very cuddly. In fact, don’t be surprised if one climbs into your shirt and pokes its head out of your collar.
Green Wing Macaw
This gentle giant of the macaw family has a steady, relaxed temperament that, like a golden retriever dog, makes it especially patient with the energy and fast movements of children. Sensitive and responsive, the green wing can be feisty, especially when young, but quickly develops an affectionate disposition when raised with patience and tenderness. Green wings also can be quite vocal, particularly when they're babies. But the reward for your patience is a sweet, affectionate companion of many years.
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